Peach Upside Down Cake

“Come clean with a child heart
Laugh as peaches in the summer wind
Let rain on a house roof be a song
Let the writing on your face
be a smell of apple orchards on late June.”

Carl Sandburg, Honey and Salt

While you can still get peaches, run and make this cake!  Made in a skillet, the peach slices are set in a quick rich caramel.  The cake layer is spooned on top of the peaches.  With added sour cream in the batter, it is super moist, fluffy and not too sweet:  a lovely counter point to the decadent, oozing caramelized peaches. I spiked mine with some Amaretto liqueur.   Similar to a tarte tatin, it is super easy to make.

I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Mollie at Frugal Haus Frau.  You can find the original recipe here.

Caramelized Peach Upside Down Cake

4 medium peaches, peeled and cut into thick wedges just before using,  about 10 slices per peach
1 cup cake flour ( or measure 1 cup of flour, remove one tablespoon and substitute with 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided: 1/2 cup for caramel, 3/4 cup for the cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided, at room temperature:  1 stick for the cake, 1/2 stick for the caramel
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla, brandy or amaretto
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil to catch any drips.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a 10 inch oven-safe skillet, melt 1/2 cup granulated sugar over medium heat, until sugar melts and turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Add the 1/4 cup of butter, broken up in pieces,  stirring non-stop with the wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Stir in the brown sugar and mix until incorporated and the caramel coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat and swirl around your skillet to coat the bottom evenly.
  4. Arrange the peach slices in a concentric pattern working from the outside towards the middle in the caramel.  Set aside until the batter is ready.
  5. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, beating until blended, then the vanilla or liqueur.   I used amaretto.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating at low-speed just until blended. Drop the batter over the peaches in dollops and spread to cover. Place the skillet on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the skillet on a wire rack 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen.
  8. While holding onto the cake,  pour out any syrup from the skillet into a measuring cup and reserve. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any reserved syrup.  You may or may not have extra syrup, depending on the juiciness of the peaches used.  I found this hard to do even with a second pair of hands without risking breaking the cake and got very little syrup to run out.  Once I flipped the cake, there was a lot of syrup in the skillet so I quickly turned it over and poured the syrup directly from the skillet onto the top of the cake.  
  9. Cut cake into wedges using a serrated knife. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Recipe adapted from Southern Living and Frugal Hausfrau.com

The gorgeous amber caramel.

The peaches in the caramel before the batter was added.

Is your mouth watering yet?

15 thoughts on “Peach Upside Down Cake

    • I feel trading some chocolate for those luscious ripe peaches of yours was a winning move on my part Dona! Thanks for donating the peaches and sorry I couldn’t save you a slice for your trouble. I guess I’ll just have to make it again for you. 🙂 Johanne Lamarche

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    • It’s not often I post in “live time” Liz but I wanted to share this recipe while peaches were in season. Such a fine night for a fun get together. Thank you so much for hosting us. We had a great time! Xox

      Johanne Lamarche

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  1. Oh yes, looks delish!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the shout out!! 🙂 I also glanced back at my recipe and found I said the sugar should be in pieces, lol, so if you had’t posted this I might not have looked at it until the next time I made it…which I plan to soon. 🙂

    • I used a regular skillet and it worked fine. I do think you need that rounded side to make the cake look good. You would have laughed to see my husband and I trying to pour out the syrup. The whole cake was slip sliding, almost away! I had a ton of syrup underneath. It just wouldn’t run off! When I make it again, I think I will reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup. My peaches were quite sweet. It’s a tricky thing to judge as some peaches are more tart. I had bought a vanilla bean ice cream to go with it and I totally forgot it at home!!!! Would have been perfect on a starlit, humidity free lovely summer night. Thank you for the “cake four” tip! I used cornstarch in regular flour. Had no idea. Loved the amaretto pairing with the peaches too.

      Johanne Lamarche

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    • It was a great cake Teresa, via Mollie, to me to you 🙂 I am always envious that you get peaches so early in TN but then they are probably done for the season now for you but we are still enjoying glorious ones here. There just isn’t anything as wonderful as a perfect peach is there?

      Johanne Lamarche

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